The September call-ups, with light commentary

August 31, 2007 · Filed Under Mariners · 21 Comments 

Dave may have some more insightful commentary, but I thought I’d talk about the callups. Several sources, including the broadcast today, report the M’s callups as:

OF-R Mike Morse
OF-R Charleton Jimerson
C-R Rob Johnson
LHP Ryan Feierabend
LHP John Parrish
with RHP Sean White coming off the DL

Then after the Pacific Coast League season ends:
OF-L Jeremy Reed
OF-R Wladimir Balentien
2B-R Nick Green
C-L Jeff Clement

They cleared room on the 40m by moving Oswaldo Navarro, Jake Woods, Rene Rivera, and Mike Wilson off.

Will they get any use, though? On the pitching side, sure. The M’s bullpen, post-callup, would be more left-handed:

LHP Ryan Feierabend
LHP Eric O’Flaherty
LHP John Parrish
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith
LHP George Sherrill

RHP Sean Green
RHP Brandon Morrow
RHP Putz
RHP Rick White
RHP Sean White

If the starters continue to have short outings, you can see where they’ll get into this really quickly. The addition of Parrish means that the M’s will now have two veteran supposed pitchers. Mmm.

You can also begin throwing darts at who the team’s thinking about giving Horacio Ramirez’s starts too. I’ve got as little insight into this as anyone.

For position players, I agree with Jason Churchill. Barring injury, I think the only guy on that side we might see get some starts is Nick Green. The team’s pretty down on Lopez right now, which reminds me — here’s a comment from Dave Paisley, who started with a moving seven day average of Jose Vidro’s offensive performance:

Continuing from the previous thread with 7 day average OPS, here’s Jose Lopez. His brother died on or just before June 13, or roughly game 60. You do the math. He’s never been the same since, although he had been on a bit of an uptick lately.

Nick’s hitting .337/383/.604 in his time with us in AAA this year, they like his D at second. He’s too old to be a prospect, but right now the organization’s frustrated enough with Lopez that they’re playing Vidro out there, and they have to know that’s a huge defensive hit. Of course, putting Green out at second would mean they have to push Vidro to the bench or somewhere, which could squeeze Jones more. At the least, we’ll hopefully see them be aggressive about putting a defensive sub in for Vidro on days he plays second.

Which reminds me: if they were willing to, you could totally Earl Weaver this. Announce your lineup with 2B Green in a late slot (say, 7 or 8). The M’s get put down in order the first two innings, probably, but when it’s Green’s spot you PH Vidro for him, leave Vidro in at second, and then pull Vidro immediately after one of his at-bats to get Jose Lopez or Bloomquist in for defense. But that’s just me. I’d be such an annoying manager trying to squeeze those kind of matchups (and go ahead: tell me that’s not realistic or possible in today’s game, even if Weaver did stuff like that)

Morse might get some pinch-hitting chances, though it’s hard to see how, since the team’s already reluctant to platoon players like Raul who seem to cry out for it. Morse’s defense makes you want to use-and-dispose, though. Balentien taking the field wouldn’t be the same disaster.

Which reminds me: Dave rightly smacked me for saying both Jones and Balentien were ready, when they’re pretty far apart in how they’d do if you played them both, and he’s right. Even if you believe the Balentien-made-the-jump contingent, he’s not yet the offensive talent Jones is.

Reed. The last time we saw him steam was pouring out of his ears after he stormed out of spring training when they told him of his demotion.

The catching duo’s nice to have around, but with Johjima/Burke, it’s hard to see where they would make any impact.

Game 133, Mariners at Blue Jays

August 31, 2007 · Filed Under Game Threads · 248 Comments 

Washburn vs Marcum, 4:07 pm on the West Coast.

In what I expect to become something like the new standard line-up for a little while, at least, we have the following:

1. Ichiro, CF
2. Vidro, 2B
3. Guillen, RF
4. Ibanez, DH
5. Beltre, 3B
6. Broussard, 1B
7. Johjima, C
8. Jones, LF
9. Betancourt, SS

Jones essentially replaces Jose Lopez. The outfield defense gets better, the infield defense gets worse. On a night with Jarrod Washburn starting, that’s the right way to do it if you’re going to punt defense somewhere.

Anatomy of a losing streak

August 31, 2007 · Filed Under Mariners · 57 Comments 

No real analysis required, so here’s some numbers instead. During the losing streak:

Offense: 216 PA, .262/.298/.332, .630 OPS, 19 runs scored (3.16 Runs per game)

Vidro: .250/.308/.292 (.278/.328/.389 over 61 PA in his last 13 games – is he still on fire?)
Guillen: .208/.240/.250
Ibanez: .273/.360/.273
Beltre: .304/.320/.435
Sexson: .167/.214/.167
Johjima: .500/.500/.550 (9 singles, 1 double, no walks in 20 PA)
Lopez: .286/.286/.357
Betancourt: .222/.222/.333

Johjima is the only guy who hit at all the last six games, and even that was all singles. The two through six middle of the order hitters combined for as much power as you’d expect from a pitcher, but it’s not like Betancourt or Ichiro were on base much to be driven in anyway.

The bullpen issues have been covered, but let’s not overlook that the offense hasn’t really picked up their teammates either.

Veteran Relievers

August 31, 2007 · Filed Under Mariners · 102 Comments 

Scheduling Note: No KJR gig with Groz today..

The Mariners quest for a veteran relief pitcher has led them through a series of arms this year.

Reitsma	7.61	23.7	37	22	20	3	9	11	56
Parrish	8.44	5.3	12	5	5	0	2	1	50
White	5.79	4.7	9	4	3	0	3	3	74
Total	7.48	33.7	58	31	28	3	14	15	58

34 innings, 58 hits, 31 runs, 14 walks, 15 strikeouts, and a combined ERA that is 42 percent below the league average for all pitchers (significantly worse when compared to just relievers).

Being old does not equal being good. Learn from your mistakes. Talent > Experience.

This one is earned

August 30, 2007 · Filed Under Mariners · 168 Comments 

Some losing streaks are a collection of tough breaks – a blooper here, a blown call there, and all of the sudden, you’ve lost a few games in a row.

This is not that. The Mariners have earned this six game losing streak – the one that’s essentially taken their playoff chances and ground them into powder. Through sheer ridiculous stubbornness and a complete lack of understanding of real baseball strategy, John McLaren punted tonights game. Just threw a win right out the window.

The Mariners didn’t deserve to win tonight’s game, even though they had it in their grasp. As an organization, they’ve put people in charge who simply aren’t capable of making enough good decisions to create a team that wins enough games to be considered a contender.

John McLaren simply doesn’t understand how to manage a roster. In game strategy isn’t everything, but it’s part of the job, and he fails at it.

Game 132, Mariners at Indians

August 30, 2007 · Filed Under Game Threads · 389 Comments 

LHP Ramirez vs. LHP Aaron Laffey, 4:05pm, radio only?

Ramirez, 2007 road: 8 G, 38.1 IP, 61 H, 45 R, 6 HR, 20 BB, 17 K, .363 BAA. That’s almost an unfathomably bad line.

Laffey, making his fourth major league start, is a groundball machine. First time out, he was 11:5 GB:FB. Second start, 14:2. Last start, 15:0. That’s not a typo. I’m sure Dave loves Aaron Laffey.

I’m going to go grab some BBQ, watch the game, and contemplate staying up to watch USA Hoops vs. Argentina at midnight.

CF Ichiro       CF Sizemore
2B Vidro        2B Cabrera
DH Guillen      DH Hafner
LF Ibanez       C  Martinez
3B Beltre       1B Garko
1B Sexson       SS Peralta
C  Johjima      RF Gutierrez
RF Jones        LF Michaels
SS Betancourt   3B Gomez

My second thought on Guillen/Balentien

August 29, 2007 · Filed Under Mariners · 81 Comments 

After talking to Dave about our disagreement, I realized something else: one of the things the M’s player development has become much, much better at in the last few years under Bavasi/Fontaine is determining which of their players are ready to play in the majors, and what their roles might be. We’ve seen most of that in filling out the bullpen, and I may disagree with what they do with them once they’ve come to those decisions (Morrow, for instance, was a case where they figured he could help with the bullpen, but that might have come at the expense of his development as a starter).

Bavasi’s stated that he’s unwilling to start two new outfielders, and if that was the limit of discussion, I’d still be pretty hot about it, but I can’t believe that during the season, particularly during the drawn-out discussions with Guillen, he didn’t have a discussion with the player development people and say “Do you think Wlad’s going to be ready in a year? Two years?” And I guess they must have put up their hands and said “We dunno, boss.”

If you grant them that, then it means that the brighter minds in the M’s player development organization aren’t seeing the big leap forward in Wlad’s game, or at least aren’t convinced it’s sustainable. Or they don’t think his performance is major-league ready. And I haven’t seen Wlad like they have — so I’m entirely willing to be humble and say “there may well be something they’re seeing that I’m not.”

Why does Rick White have to take 99 to Ballard if he wants to drink this off?

August 29, 2007 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on Why does Rick White have to take 99 to Ballard if he wants to drink this off? 

Because flammable cargo’s prohibited on I-5 under the Convention Center.


August 29, 2007 · Filed Under Mariners · 84 Comments 

That went about as poorly as humanly possible. Swept at home, despite throwing the three arms you’d choose against LAA, while missing out on having to face Kelvim Escobar – the M’s are now five games back of the Angels, and the chances for taking the division are plunging towards slim and none.

But hey, at least we’ve got Horacio Ramirez on the road against Cleveland tom… Uh oh.

Game 131, Angels at Mariners

August 29, 2007 · Filed Under Game Threads · 346 Comments 

Felix day! Felix versus the currently-better of the two Weavers! With Broussard at first!

1:35, FSN

Get ’em! Get ’em Mr. B!

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